Gambling addiction; also known as gambling disorder, involves repeated problematic gambling behavior that causes significant problems or distress. If you are a compulsive gambler, you cannot control the impulse to gamble even if it has negative results on you and your daily life. If gambling addiction is left untreated, it can have serious effects on your financial situation, social status, relationships and other aspects of your life. So you should take help for gambling addiction to resume your daily life.
How people get addicted to gambling?
The majority of people with gambling addiction are men. But this type of addiction may also affect women. Gambling addiction is mainly associated with the pleasure center of the brain that releases endorphins and urges us to repeat an activity. The problem is when if the person repeats gambling activity just to feel good or even to feel normal.
A person may become addicted to gambling when he feels that he is in financial problems and he can only solve his problems by gambling. This significantly leads to the start of cycle in which the gambler tries to win back his losses, and the cycle goes on until the person is forced to get rehabilitation to break this bad habit.
Some people with history of mantle illness are more likely to get addictive behaviors than others as these individuals are unable to control these impulses. Gambling addiction can affect a person’s personal, educational, social and occupational functioning.
Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction
Signs of gambling addiction include:
- A person feels the need to be secretive about gambling;
- He faces trouble I controlling gambling activities;
- A person gambles even when he can’t afford it;
- Your friends and relatives show concern about your gambling;
- Excessive gambling can cause emotional symptoms including anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts when a person losses his each and everything in gambling. When gambling becomes a necessary evil for you, it’s time to get help.
Short-term and long-term effects of gambling addiction
Gambling addiction can lead to many additional effects, in both short and long term. Many gamblers start using alcohol, drugs and other activities to reduce the anxiety and stress caused by gambling life style. Also, relationships are often damaged permanently as a result of gambling.
Getting help for gambling addiction
Quitting gambling addiction is not an easy act, but it can be done with the help of solid support. Professional counselors and supportive friends and family are also important to help in the recovery.
Here we are sharing the steps which can help the patient in quitting the gambling addiction.
Treatment for gambling addiction
Gambling cannot be directly treated with medication, it is possible to control the anxiety and depression that results from gambling. The most common way to treat gambling addiction with medication is to prescribe anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medicines. Feeling depressed often leads to gambling addiction, so treating these disorders can help you to break the gambling cycle. Despite of medication, there are many forms therapies are available to deal with gambling addiction. The problem can also be tackled with the help of private counseling and support groups.
Psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy
Psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral therapy is one of the most successful treatments in case of addiction. It helps people to deal with emotional and cognitive states that cause the impulsive behavioral patterns that are associated with addiction. It also teaches people to make constructive choices in the time of stress rather than choosing gambling.
Inpatient rehabilitation program
Some people find that they need the structure afforded by an inpatient program at the treatment center to give up the habit of gambling. This program is helpful if the patient is unable to avoid casinos or other gambling activities without help. The patient will need to stay in the treatment center for specific time, from 30 days to an entire year.
Outpatient rehabilitation program
These programs are more commonly used by gambling addict people. In this type of program, patient attends classes at the treatment center. There may be series of sessions and one-on-one therapy. The patient will continue to live at home and participate in other daily life activities.
Changing your life style
Dealing with drastic consequences of gambling is sometimes the hardest part of the recovery process. In the first step, you should make some good behavioral changes in you to quite this bad habit. If you have friends who are also addicted to gambling then replace those friends with new one. Avoid places and people that tempt you to gamble. Stay away from casinos, sports bars and block gaming sites on your computer. By controlling the usual temptations like boredom, extra money, online access, you will limit your habit to gamble.
Dealing financial problems
Gambling addiction may often results from financial problems, as person wants get more and more money. To quite this habit, you must start new and good job to earn for your living and to fill up your time. Also consider taking the financial management class or opening the investment account to earn the interest. If you have spare time after work then spend the time exercising, swimming and with friends who do not gamble. With little extra money on the side, you will be less likely to feel the urge to gamble with your hard earned money.
Gambling addiction. What support resources are available?
If you come to know that you have become addicted to gambling, then don’t feel yourself alone. You should talk to your doctor and mental health professional. There is professional help available to get through your problem. They will help you find the information and support you need. By recognizing the factors behind your addiction, you can recover with little effort to start normal and healthy life.
Several organizations provide information about gambling addiction and options that are available for treatment. There are many websites available for addiction help and they can link you to resources you need to fight this addicting habit. You can find online counseling support here: https://www.begambleaware.org